Dear Editor and Citizens of Grand County,

As I listened to the enchanting song “November in Moab” by Ellis, at the Moab Folk Festival, I reflected on how this November will always hold a special place in my heart. As Ellis so poetically stated, “I’ll tell you right now how to lasso hope, go to where the cottonwood trees have turned to yellow, shining like a thousand suns in the light.”

I lassoed hope on the evening of Tuesday, November 4, 2014, when the results of the elections were announced and I was honored as Grand County’s choice as its representative at large to the Grand County Council. At that moment I was humbled and assured that my desires for the future of Grand County are shared with the majority of its citizenry. In truth, all of Grand County wishes for a future where our health, spirit and economy can thrive. We just have differing outlooks on how that can be achieved. By treating and listening to all with respect, rolling up our sleeves and working hard, we can move forward in a cooperative, respectful manner.

I grew up as the daughter of a mining engineer. My father died young, due the hazards of his occupation, as did so many of the wonderful gentlemen he worked with. The first two towns I lived in are now ghost towns, which is so often the case of communities where extraction dominates their economy. Grand County is no longer dependent on extraction, but rather has a thriving tourist industry. Locally, public lands generate upwards of $200 million dollars in economic activity for the City of Moab. In fact, tourism and recreation generates 2.5 to 3.5 times more tax revenue for Grand County than the extraction industries do. I do not naively believe the recreation economy does not have its own downfalls. We do need to have a more diverse economy. We must move forward in a way that protects our environment and our recreation economy, while responsibly supporting other industries. By doing this, we will bring balance to our community.

Thank you, Grand County voters. I promise to listen to all, work hard to protect and develop, research, and do my best to represent this county in a fair and balanced manner.